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Vermont Bans Fracking

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the no-more-gas-for-you dept.

Businesses 278

eldavojohn writes "Vermont is the first state to ban fracking (hydraulic fracturing), a process that was to revolutionize the United States' position into a major producer of natural gas. New York currently has a moratorium on fracking but it is not yet a statewide ban. Video of the signing indicates the concern over drinking water as the motivation for Vermont's measures (PDF draft of legislation). Slashdot has frequently encountered news debating the safety of such practices."

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278 comments

That settles it... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40034929)

We're moving to Vermont!

Re:That settles it... (4, Interesting)

AG the other (1169501) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035015)

Cue the lawyers.
You know if the oil companies think that there is recoverable gas or oil in Vermont the oil companies will try to go after it.

Re:That settles it... (5, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035131)

Vermont is small enough that they can just slant drill under it from neighboring states.

Re:That settles it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035293)

If they want to break the law.

Re:That settles it... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035483)

Are you suggesting they drink Vermont's milkshake?

Re:That settles it... (5, Insightful)

dpilot (134227) | more than 2 years ago | (#40036287)

I'm not sure, but I don't think Vermont even has the right kind of geology for gas or oil. The Green Mountains are very old, I believe metamorphic rock, and I thought natural gas and oil are generally in sedimentary deposits - sandstone with a limestone cap, or some such.

I suspect the ban is a symbolic gesture, already knowing that nothing is really at risk.

Re:That settles it... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035203)

Neo-Luddism is alive and well in Vermont.

Re:That settles it... (1)

G00F (241765) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035527)

Even better, they where the last to get a walmart . . .

Obligatory Bad Pun (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40034943)

Are you fracking kidding me?!

Better reported as (4, Funny)

Radtastic (671622) | more than 2 years ago | (#40034953)

"Vermont Says, "No Fracking Fracking!"

About time.. (5, Interesting)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#40034987)

A common sense idea made law that goes against the big oil and gas industries? Maybe there is hope after all!
Its a little old, but here is a good PBS report on the subject fot the lesser informed:
http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/613/index.html [pbs.org]

Re:About time.. (2, Insightful)

emarkp (67813) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035077)

Now, if only there was scientific evidence that there was a problem with fracking, instead of all of this political pressure because all fossil fuels are evil.

Re:About time.. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035093)

I cant believe localized earthquakes in places that never have earthquakes isn't enough to sound any sort of alarm.........

Re:About time.. (2)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035413)

As a rule, Australia never gets earthquakes.

Someone forgot to tell the earthquake in 1989 that hit Newcastle (close to Sydney).
Measured 5.6 which is somewhat more than what some explosives can do.

Funnily enough, ground water contamination didn't seem to happen.

Re:About time.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035673)

debate all you want about the consequences.. the fact is that there was never a seismic event before fracking and there has been since...

do you need a clown to jump up and slap you in the face to think something isn't right? (for fucks sake ill pay for it myself!)

Re:About time.. (3, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#40036153)

Then the fracking is doing you a favor. They're not pumping with enough energy to actually run an earthquake, so the only plausible mechanism is that the tracking fluid is acting as a lubricant and allowing the geology to relieve some accumulated stress.

In other words, fracking is actually preventing "the big one."

Re:About time.. (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035433)

The earthquakes are from the disposal of the frack water (in Ohio) and are not occurring where the fracking itself is taking place (in PA).

Re:About time.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035487)

I thought the general consensus on fracking was that it's perfectly safe and sound, if you do it right. Just, unfortunately, nobody does it right.

Re:About time.. (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035577)

I think most of the complaints are with natural gas ending up in drinking water. It's hard to judge, though, because the places where natural gas is plentiful already had a lot of gas in the drinking water.

The other concern is the unknown chemicals used in the frack water. Apparently the exact mix is considered a trade secret and so it goes largely untested by the scientific community.

There is the earthquake issue with the disposal, but these tremors are tiny little things. I have no idea if they could "trigger" a destructive earthquake, but it seems unlikely IMUHO (uninformed humble opinion) :)

Re:About time.. (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035731)

The draft bill also bans under ground disposal of fracking fluids.

Re:About time.. (0, Troll)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035765)

LOL, did they also ban sunbathing in January? What other non-existent-in-VT activity did they ban? NO BETAMAX!

Re:About time.. (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 2 years ago | (#40036113)

There's lots of fracking going on on Ohio. Some of it just a few miles down the road from me.

Re:About time.. (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035605)

I cant believe localized earthquakes in places that never have earthquakes isn't enough to sound any sort of alarm.........

Big shock? You can live in a geologically stable area(like the canadian shield) and still get earthquakes. Imagine that....

Re:About time.. (1)

approachingZero (1365381) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035705)

I'm not trying to slam you. Anyone who believes there are places that have never had any earthquakes needs to crack open a geology book. That's like saying there are stationary tectonic plates.

Re:About time.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035171)

Now, only if this were not an effort form a shill to derail and discredit any scientific investigation before it began, instead we have all of these very rich private interests trying to dictate policy via social media manipulation.

Re:About time.. (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035183)

Now, if only there was scientific evidence that there was a problem with fracking, instead of all of this political pressure because all fossil fuels are evil.

Because scientific evidence proves that there are no downsides to extracting and burning fossil fuels, and the only arguments against them are politically motivated?

how'bout u first prove beyond doubt that its safe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035191)

Ever heard of the precautionary principal?

Re:how'bout u first prove beyond doubt that its sa (2, Insightful)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035329)

Your breathing generates carbon dioxide which is alleged to harm every living being. Before you take another breath, the precautionary principle demands you prove your breathing causes no harm.

Re:how'bout u first prove beyond doubt that its sa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035549)

Except for plants with Oxygenic Photosynthesis. Those plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

Re:how'bout u first prove beyond doubt that its sa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035745)

Yeah, well how do you know there aren't underground formations that produce proprietary and secret combinations of chemicals when you force oil and natural gas into them?

Re:how'bout u first prove beyond doubt that its sa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035795)

I'm not sure anyone to be taken seriously has ever alleged CO2 harms every living being and I'm not sure I follow your argument. Are you suggesting that because a human body expels CO2 that any amount in the atmosphere is OK? I mean my body also expels feces and that can even be good for a lot of organisms. That doesn't mean I'm okay with the earth being covered a meter deep with feces. Life would go on but it wouldn't be pleasant for humans.

Re:how'bout u first prove beyond doubt that its sa (2)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035461)

It only has to be as safe as any other resource extraction - coal, oil, metals, lumber, etc.

Hell, just the burning of coal, through the release of mercury and radiation, makes more people sick than fracking could ever hope to.

Re:how'bout u first prove beyond doubt that its sa (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 2 years ago | (#40036151)

Really? More than fracking ever could? So you know the toxins and carcinogens in the fracking fluid aren't that bad? How exactly do you know? The oil/gas companies won't tell the components to anyone. (hint, it's your wild speculation, based on nothing much)

Re:About time.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035217)

This isn't science.

This is engineering implemented by human actors who are both Not rational and Not accountable for their actions due to deregulation of fracking and its exemption from the Clean Water Act.

Linking anti-fracking with anti-science is dishonest and manipulative of the discussion.

Re:About time.. (5, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035225)

WE need scientific evidence, and the people flooding the water table with cocktails of industrial grade chemicals don't?

Re:About time.. (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035247)

His point is that there is no evidences that any of t is getting into the water table. DO you even know what chemicals are in there?

And Vermont seems to miss the point that the new questions are about horizontal fracking, nit vertical fracking.

No Evidence Whatsoever? (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035425)

His point is that there is no evidences that any of t is getting into the water table.

Well, there have been cases where the stuff that is taken out does find its way into the drinking water [npr.org] but the common argument is that it was mishandled. The way I see this, in a very unscientific way, is that we're doing something similar to when we dumped mountains of garbage into the Pacific Ocean because, hey let's face it, there's nothing out there and nobody's ever going to be able to find it, right? And now we just sit there and stare at it wondering if anyone's going to do anything about it [seattlepi.com] saying stupid shit like "Well, it doesn't matter if we stop, Japan will keep dumping out there."

And, you know, this fracking stuff just sounds like more of the same mentality and I feel like it could bite our ass in the future when all of Pennsylvania has pockets of water underneath it that, by themselves pose no risk but added up eventually cause us some discomfort. And yet, all the comments on Slashdot assure me I'm just a fear monger [slashdot.org] so what are you to do? People seem to get upset when I try to place the burden of proof that this will not harm us in anyway on the companies that are going to make billions of dollars off it and the people that still own mineral rights are telling me to shut the hell up at all costs. These natural gas companies sound like really unsavory types [thisamericanlife.org] .

DO you even know what chemicals are in there?

Now that's a funny question if you're in PA [theatlantic.com] (and I don't mean "ha-ha" funny).

Re:About time.. (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 2 years ago | (#40036177)

DO you even know what chemicals are in there?

No one knows for sure because the oil/gas companies won't tell us what they are pumping into the ground around our well water.

And if you claim there's no evidence things are getting into the water table, you are ignoring a lot of data out there.

Re:About time.. (0)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40036239)

Bullshit. The Oil and Gas companies divulge this information when they apply for permits to do the work. It's generally available in the permit applications.

Re:About time.. (0)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035233)

Unfortunately, our scientific institutions have been compromised by money interests just like (and often with the help of) the federal government. Just look at all those scientists denying global warming -- there is no doubt that most of them are connected by oil and coal-burning industries through a twisted mesh of money and power strings.

How about this: establish scientific evidence that fraking is safe BEFORE granting them an immunity from the clean air and water act [ewg.org] . And by "safe" I don't mean the way Gulf oil drilling was, followed by "I am sorry we accidentally an ocean-sized ecosystem".

Yeah, Vermont (2, Interesting)

pubwvj (1045960) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035303)

They pump toxic chemicals into the water. Despite how deep they drill, what they pump in percolates up to the water supply. And you want more evidence? You'll never be satisfied, Denier.

Fact is, by doing what the gas companies doing they are STEALING natural gas from under other people's land and polluting other people's water. They have no right to that.

They've gotten a free ride for too long. They need to be stopped and they need to pay for the damages they have already done despite being given immunity by corrupt government officials.

As to the question of known reserves, because we don't have drilling here yet is all the more reason to ban it before it becomes a problem, they pollute our water and they steal our resources. They could find gas reserves in the future. Easier to close the gate before the horses escape.

"Cue the lawyers."

Aye, and they'll waste a lot of money on lawyers as Vermont ties them up in the courts they own. Even if they were to win in Federal court then Vermont would make their lives miserable. Entergy found that out. They "won" and then appealed their own "win" when they found out it Fskd them further. On top of that Vermont added a new $12 million dollar tax on their heads and increased other costs for them. There is more than one way to skin a Big Corp.

Actually, we pronounce it "No Frickin Frackin" here in Vermont.

Re:Yeah, Vermont (1, Insightful)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035415)

Vermont is the 5th slowest growing state in the union. With attitudes like yours, no wonder Vermont repulses perople.

Re:Yeah, Vermont (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035855)

I had to laugh at this when I saw the cites linking to wiki showing that VT has not only the lowest GDP of all states (save Puerto Rico) but that there are no notable gas reserves there. Classic.

Re:About time.. (4, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035419)

I'm in PA, which is not hostile to fracking.

In general I am "pro" fracking - even given some health and environmental effects, you have to weigh it against the effects of coal mining and oil drilling.

My main concern is that the fracking chemicals are considered a trade secret and so are not disclosed. The broader scientific community has no good way of evaluating the chemicals that are frequently used, and I think that does a disservice to everyone involved.

My other problem is a political one - our state does not make any money when the gas is extracted. I think a fee should be charged and that the money should go to a contingency fund (in case this fracking thing needs cleanup afterall...) that after, say, 30 years could dump into the state treasury. Other money should go into an infrastructure fund - the state should benefit in the long-term from resources extracted inside of it.

Re:About time.. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035445)

How about the 251 fracking chemicals that Dick Cheney got exempted from the Clean Water Act? Meaning we have no data on how they affect humans, animals, or the environment?

You are a fucking shill for the oil industry, go fuck yourself.
COMMON FUCKING SENSE tells you that fracking is bad.

Re:About time.. (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035513)

There are usually two kinds of claims about harm.

One is about pollution of local drinking water. This is unlikely due to depth to where fracking fluid is pumped. It is remotely possible in case of catastrophic failure of piping, but likelihood of it happening is quite remote.

Other is about local earthquakes. This one is real, observed in several different regions and somewhat of an unknown on both how it happens and how to avoid it. Until this one is solved, I would consider avoiding fracking in the areas with significant human population so we don't end up like the old coal mines causing sudden collapses in the middle of towns killing people and destroying property seemingly at random. And of course, these earthquakes may serve as the cause of aforementioned catastrophic failure of piping in some scenarios.

I'm not entirely sure what kind of "scientific evidence" you're looking for that hasn't been provided through direct observation of current fracking methods and their consequences. Unless you're arguing that since we do not understand the exact mechanisms behind fracking causing earthquakes, we do not have scientific evidence to back it up. Which is simply a gross misunderstanding of scientific methods.

The Victory of Fear (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035151)

A common sense idea made law that goes against the big oil and gas industries?

Were common sense involved all involve would realize how far apart gas deposits are from water tables, and never have passed such a law.

It's really sad that these days you find Slashdot filled with people so full of fear, and unwilling to look further for the truth of things.

In reality Fracking doesn't have any of the evils alarmists like you are painting it with - for example the drinking water issues you note about probably are from the region that had gas in the drinking water BEFORE fracking was involved.

Re:The Victory of Fear (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035265)

However, it does seem like, at this point, the horizontal fracking is attributing to a significant increase in the amount of earthquake a region has.

Re:The Victory of Fear (5, Informative)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035379)

You would think that right?

I have experience with fraccing, and have been on several very deep wells with huge fracs (or so I thought).

Logically, by most definitions of fraccing it is nigh impossible for the water table to be affected by activity thousands of feet below. If it is being affected it is because of shoddy casing (the cement lined straw that goes through all the formations), which has nothing to do with fraccing.

Shoddy casing is surprisingly more common than I thought. Fraccing puts a lot of strain on casing anyways. A bad casing job will absolutely have problems if it is exposed to the water table.

Several months ago a poster pointed me to an article about a different method of fraccing that is being used in these wells. For the life of me I wish I had it book marked. It described a fraccing process that I could only say was irresponsible at best. It was *not* a simple one time frac thousands of feet below water tables.

The method described in this article could easily affect water tables in a short period of time.

When I first heard about the controversy over fraccing I thought exactly as you did. It was ridiculous. Basic knowledge about fraccing precludes such possibilities.

I tried looking up the article in Google again... and lo and behold... 4 advertisements. 2 pro, and 2 con. Can't find anything about this method of fraccing anymore. Hmmmm....

It Has Everything to Do With Fracking (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035873)

You would think that right?

I have experience with fraccing...If it is being affected it is because of shoddy casing (the cement lined straw that goes through all the formations), which has nothing to do with fraccing.

Fracking as an industry includes EVERYTHING from prospecting through trucking or piping the gas away, including poor management decisions, bad engineering, and yes, shoddy casings. If you refuse to consider real world risks when it's actually executed, you're asking us to make decisions based on theory rather than practice.

It's the same with nuclear; the risks of that form of energy INCLUDE the greedy bastard owners who cut corners for a cheaper design, don't build seawalls high enough, and run obsolete designs long past their rated lifetimes.

Why don't you pro-nuclear and pro-fracking people get that? I think nuclear is worth the risk, and fracking MAY be worth the risk, but please, let's be honest about this.

Re:It Has Everything to Do With Fracking (2)

IdolizingStewie (878683) | more than 2 years ago | (#40036103)

The problem is that the laws against and about fraccing will do nothing to stop shoddy cement jobs, which, by the way, is just as possible on a well that flows naturally. If you want to stop shoddy cement jobs, you'd do a much better job of it by, I don't know, regulating cementing better? Crazy, I know.

Re:The Victory of Fear (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40036303)

And whose fault is that? How many Superfund sites did We, The People get stuck with again? these corps have NO problem making shitpiles of money off these resources but when its found that they have caused serious harm they disappear and leave that to the people. Hell the NG wildcatters in my state have have already set up their exit strategies if something horrible happens by having ALL the assets and mineral rights owned by a shell corp they control while the public facing corp mearly LEASES the rights and equipment...from themselves!

I'm sorry but the corporations in this country have shown us time and time again they are nothing but socialism for the rich, all the profits are private, all the risks public. Considering the amount of pure wanton destruction they have done in the past century you honestly can't blame nobody for not trusting these assholes. After all do YOU see them setting up any funds for in case something goes horribly wrong? nope, its grab the cash and sneak out the back if shit hits the fan.

Re:About time.. (1)

hashish (62254) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035241)

Fracking is not the elephant in the room. The unknown effects of de-pressuring the gas seams and poorly completed wells are bigger issues that the fracking process.

Re:About time.. (4, Informative)

phrostie (121428) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035565)

you're closer than most, thank you.

rather than taking the Luddism approach they should first educate the people about the difference between fracking and disposal wells. they are not the same.
the media never got it right, and they passed that ignorance on to the alarmist, who ran with it.

when problems happen it's not the fracking, but the completion of the well that was done wrong. that's when you cement the steel casing(pipe) to isolate your production zone from the other formations your drilled thru. they should be passing laws to require more strict control durring this phase.
they should be hiring and training more inspectors.
that they aren't paying attention until several steps later tells me this probably isn't regulated at all in these states.

Re:About time.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035401)

I know you liberals want to completely get rid of using fossil fuels for your own agenda, but do you like paying more for gas? Do you prefer that we import our fuel from other countries?

I know you're thinking, "If we can make gas super expensive, people will be forced to find alternatives!" Well, some of us are struggling to make ends meet, and high fuel costs kill the economy.

Re:About time.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035783)

. . .high fuel costs kill the economy.

Low fuel costs kill everything else.

Re:About time.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035945)

So what do you suggest? We NEED energy. Or should we just keep importing it from places like the Middle East?

Getting more fuel domestically = prosperity, jobs, lesser dependence on foreign oil (which hopefully means fewer wars we're involved in!)

Turn off your computer now, it's generating carbon!

What the Frack? (4, Funny)

Lavithas (1549675) | more than 2 years ago | (#40034991)

I hope I wasn't the only one who immediately thought of Battlestar Galactica.

Re:What the Frack? (2)

Lynchenstein (559620) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035027)

Nope. I hope they don't mean they're banning the Blood and Chrome web series that's coming out soon.

Oh noes! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035013)

Government regulation? This is a sure sign that Obama's anti-business agenda will DESTROY AMERICA!

Save us Mitt Romney, from the scourge of the government promulgated by Kenyan Anti-colonial Marxism!

Easy to do...when you've no gas reserves (5, Interesting)

ravenscar (1662985) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035023)

From this wikipedia article, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shale_gas_in_the_United_States [wikipedia.org] , it would appear that VT doesn't have any natural gas reserves to speak of. That makes it easy for them to ban fracking - there isn't any revenue/economy to be built on that effort anyhow. Perhaps Nebraska can outlaw fishing for Chilean Sea Bass. States with large reserves will likely have a harder time taking that leap.

Note - VT is close to a large reserve so I suppose I could be wrong about how much gas is easily accessible from that location.

Re:Easy to do...when you've no gas reserves (2)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035145)

If Monsanto and Cargill keep messing with GM corn, there may be Chilean Sea Bass growing on corn stalks in Nebraska!

Re:Easy to do...when you've no gas reserves (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035495)

That would be so friggin awesome...

Re:Easy to do...when you've no gas reserves (3, Informative)

ediron2 (246908) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035327)

I'm not a geologist, but the quantity of slate and shale I saw hiking the green mountains makes me doubt there's nothing there.

And going at the question another way, the Dakotas were hardly hotbeds of petrol -- natural gas and shale oil projects are huge employers in NoDak right now. Idaho's never been good for coal or petroleum, but gas is interesting enough to someone with deep pockets to cause preliminary drilling near Payette (if memory serves). And Idaho saw LOTS of legislative fury as the state preemptively denied counties/towns any control over fracking. Yep, politicians that never shut up about local control all lined up and voted to completely deny any local control on fracking chemicals or processes.

Something stinks, and I'm betting it's energy-extractive industry working fast and quiet before revealing their hand.

Looking forward to those cornfed seabass; YUM.

Re:Easy to do...when you've no gas reserves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035781)

Something stinks, and I'm betting it's energy-extractive industry

No, it's just that there is no gas [northernwoodlands.org] .

Maybe Vermont should ban puppy fired power plants. Then, you could accuse commercial dog breeders of nefarious plots, well trained malcontent that you are.

Re:Easy to do...when you've no gas reserves (2)

Tailhook (98486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035337)

The parent is dead on correct. Vermont pulls most of it's power from a nuclear reactor that is slated to be shut down. They use almost no natural gas; it doesn't even register as a fuel source for electric power generation in Vermont according to the feds [energy.gov] .

Vermont will replace the nuke with Canadian hydro power. They neatly re-classified [towardfreedom.com] huge hydro power operations ( > 200MW ) as 'renewable' so they can sign a big contracts with Hydro Quebec.

They're just trading salmon habitat in Canada for the consequences of gas mining, real or imagined, at home. How noble. Maybe they should ban whale oil derived power next.

Re:Easy to do...when you've no gas reserves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035723)

Not to speak ill of that perpetually under-developed economic vacuum of New England, but this is so quintesentially Vermont. Not changing the world one meaningless resolution at a time.

The Earth is Flat... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035049)

At least is is in Vermont. Only left-wing and fellow traveler technology acknowledged in Vermont.

GASLAND (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035099)

Watch the HBO Documentary GASLAND (it's on Netflix instant) and you'll see what all the fuss is about. I hope to god fracking will stop before we destroy more natural resources in this country.

Re:GASLAND (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035229)

Care for facts?

http://www.anga.us/critical-issues/the-truth-about-gasland

http://cogcc.state.co.us/library/GASLAND%20DOC.pdf

http://www.anga.us/media/179430/dunkard.pdf

Now, after you've read that, get back here and apologize.

Re:GASLAND (0)

Flounder (42112) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035509)

And don't forget that the production of Gasland was funded by Venezuelan gas/oil interests, which would be VERY screwed if we no longer had to import Venezuelan crude. Gasland is a hoax, just like An Inconvenient Truth.

Frack yeah! (1)

Fishbulb (32296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035121)

Frack those fracking frackers!

They'll just rename it and be back (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035147)

It'll be called The Patriotic Green Support the Troops Zero Footprint Petroleum DIffusion Method and be back.

No more Fracking in Vermont (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035163)

It's a sad day to be a battlestar galactica fan in Vermont. It should make out of state road trips more fun though.

yeah sure (1)

wulfmans (794904) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035169)

WTF ? Water tables are at most 1k feet deep. Oil wells are well over 5k feet deep with a LOT of non permeable rock in between how can this fracking fluid get into the water table ? If all due precautions are taken there is no leakage. There is a well casing that seals off the drill hole where is goes through the water table. If we all want to be dependent on other countrys for our energy, stop the fracking and pay 5$ a unit for natural gas or 10$ a gallon for your gasoline. Too much politics and not enough common sense.

Re:yeah sure (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035223)

All due precautions are not, in fact, taken. There have been enough fuckups that people are mad and want the practice banned. Maybe if the oil companies hadn't been so stupidly shortsighted this would have turned out better for everyone.

Re:yeah sure (2)

demonbug (309515) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035349)

WTF ? Water tables are at most 1k feet deep. Oil wells are well over 5k feet deep with a LOT of non permeable rock in between how can this fracking fluid get into the water table ?

What do you base this on? There are supply wells in my immediate area that are well over 1000 feet deep, and groundwater reaches down much much farther than that, albeit in decreasing quantities - pore space/storativity tends to decrease as pressure/depth increases. Natural gas wells are at a wide variety of depths; hydraulic fracturing is breaking up those non-permeable rocks that act as traps for oil and natural gas in order to more easily extract the oil and/or gas. Natural gas and oil wells are often cased off from relatively shallow groundwater, but these casings rarely if ever reach all the way down to bedrock (which is often naturally fractured to some extent anyway).

The dangers of fracking have been blown somewhat out of proportion, but anyone familiar with it should recognize the very real risks. If the exploration companies came to the table and tried to work out some rules there probably wouldn't be an issue; instead they insist that they shouldn't have to reveal what they are injecting, and continue to pretend that there are no risks when all the evidence (and basic understanding of the process) says otherwise.

Re:yeah sure (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035551)

Water tables are at most 1k feet deep. Oil wells are well over 5k feet deep with a LOT of non permeable rock in between how can this fracking fluid get into the water table ?

Perhaps through the fractures created by fracking?

Re:yeah sure (1)

wulfmans (794904) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035933)

Depth to most oil/gas wells http://205.254.135.7/dnav/pet/pet_crd_welldep_s1_a.htm [205.254.135.7] Depth to the Ogallala Aquifer as an example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogallala_Aquifer [wikipedia.org] Everything you want to know about fracking http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_fracturing [wikipedia.org] Sorry a fracture does not seem to go 3000 feet from the drill hole to the water table.

Re:yeah sure (4, Informative)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 2 years ago | (#40036229)

Casings crack and leak ALL THE FREAKING TIME. If you think they are some magical seal that always works you are ignoring the reality in the field. Oil/gase companies experiment with new casing techniques all the time because cracking/leaking happens a lot, and they are still looking for solutions to the problem. Claming casings seal off the hole is grand ignorance of reality.

Idiots (4, Informative)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035199)

No fracking will be coming here, due to our geology [nashuatelegraph.com] . But don't let that stop grandstanding politicians from doing something to solve a problem, even one that doesn't exist.

Re:Idiots (2)

mmcxii (1707574) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035863)

Welcome to an election year.

What types of fracking? (3, Interesting)

demonbug (309515) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035201)

The article doesn't go into much detail on what specifically is banned. We sometimes use hydraulic and/or pneumatic fracturing for environmental cleanups; of course, only water (or air/nitrogen) are used - generally pretty shallow and only trying to increase transmissivity of sediments, not break up rock. Just wondering if they actually put some thought into it, or just knee-jerk banned all hydraulic fracturing. The technology does have uses besides breaking up shale to extract natural gas.

It Sounds Like You're Okay (2)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035313)

(Keep in mind I'm neither a lawyer nor expert on this stuff though) In the introduced legislation (H 464) that I linked to in the summary (and, mind you, that could well have changed in the process to get it signed), they use the phrase "for conventional or enhanced recovery of natural gas or oil" at the end of any statement banning permits being issued. Like this one:

To ensure that the state’s underground sources of drinking water remain free of contamination and to formalize ANR’s interpretation of the state underground injection control rules, the general assembly should prohibit the issuance of a permit for the discharge to an underground injection well for conventional or enhanced recovery of natural gas or oil.

So I would guess for environmental cleanups you might be okay but, of course, you would most likely need a discharge permit to ensure that you are compliant with laws protecting any wildlife or water surrounding the area. Hasn't that always been the case though?

My dad pushes dirt in Minnesota and he knows all the laws about reclaiming and recovering after you've just scooped a bunch of clay out of the earth and haven't replaced the topsoil. Because you are in really deep if the anyone sees that. It got so bad for one guy who had my dad do work on his property that he ended up donating the corner of his back forty where he had scooped up all the clay to a church so he could 1) write it off and 2) get that environmental catastrophe off his hands given he didn't have enough topsoil to put back.

Re:What types of fracking? (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035385)

The article doesn't go into much detail on what specifically is banned.

Fracking related to oil and natural gas exploration. The draft bill (PDF linked in summary) states as much.

Re:What types of fracking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035805)

I'd be more impressed if they also banned the import or consumption of natural gas. Or better yet if we as a nation could put a large tax on gas flowing into locations that disdain production with the proceeds from that tax going to states that embrace production. Typical Americans: happy to consume, but out of touch with the necessity of production.

I'll Frak who I damn well please, Vermont (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035209)

n/t

DoD Taps Commercial ISPsto HelpProtect DI Networks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035213)

DoD Taps Commercial Internet Providers to Help Protect Defense Industry Networks

-http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?List=7c996cd7-cbb4-4018-baf8-8825eada7aa2&ID=787
----- http://dibnet.dod.mil/ [dod.mil]
----- http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=15266 [defense.gov]

"Weapons manufacturers and thousands of other Pentagon contractors are responsible for protecting much of the militaryâ(TM)s most sensitive data.

But the Defense Department of late has lost confidence in industryâ(TM)s ability to secure its intellectual property from cyber theft. It also has recognized that the government has limited technological tools to protect industry-held data.

So the Pentagon is now asking companies to voluntarily sign up for data-security programs offered by Internet service providers such as Verizon and AT&T.

This new approach to protecting defense industry data is the latest twist in a cybersecurity pilot program that began four years ago when the Pentagon asked companies to voluntarily share information about network intrusions and malware attacks.

In exchange for volunteering details about cyber intrusions, the government would analyze the malware and send back to industry valuable intelligence on the source and scope of the hacking.

Over the past four years, 36 companies have signed up for the exchange program.

But that is hardly enough, considering that there is an estimated pool of 8,000 companies that are believed to be eligible for this program.

The number was calculated based on how many companies have employees and facilities cleared for classified work, said the Pentagonâ(TM)s Deputy Chief Information Officer for Cybersecurity Richard Hale.

The Pentagon would like to see at least 1,000 companies join the so-called âoeDefense Industrial Base Cyber Security/ Information Assuranceâ program, Hale said in a May 14 conference call with defense journalists and bloggers.

In an extraordinary move, the Pentagon last week announced it is expanding the program to allow commercial Internet Service Providers, or ISPs, to offer cybersecurity services to participating defense contractors. The expanded information-assurance program is called Defense Industrial Base Enhanced Cyber security Services.

The Defense Department agreed to provide classified and unclassified âoethreat signaturesâ to three commercial ISPs so they could develop security tools that they could sell to defense contractors in a fee-for-service arrangement.

Hale said he could not discuss the cost of the ISP services, and stressed that it was entirely up to each defense firm to decide whether to sign up for the services.

Since the May 11 announcement that the program is being expanded, more than 250 companies have expressed interest, Hale said.

âoeWe are starting to see responses,â he said. âoeWe think thereâ(TM)s pent-up demand for participation. But itâ(TM)s too early to tell how many companies are going to join.â

The Pentagon concluded that it made sense to use ISPs â" which have access to advanced cybersecurity tools â" to provide network protection services to defense contractors. The alternative would be to have to share classified information with the contractors and expect them to use that data to build their own cybersecurity systems, said Hale.

Eric Rosenbach, deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy, said the three ISPs that so far were approved for the program had to meet stringent security requirements and had to invest their own money in building the highly classified infrastructure and technology that is needed to protect defense industry networks.

âoeThe defense industrial base faces unrelenting attacks from sophisticated actors who are trying to steal intellectual property and sensitive defense information,â he said. âoeWe want to do something to address that. ⦠Firms may not be necessarily equipped to defend against those threats.â

The Pentagon is asking defense firms to consider using ISPâ(TM)s services, but has no say in what ISPs charge.

âoeWe donâ(TM)t know how they [ISPs] are profiting or if theyâ(TM)re profiting,â he said. From the Defense Departmentâ(TM)s perspective, âoeTheyâ(TM)re addressing a need, and it doesnâ(TM)t cost the government any research and development dollars.â

This marks a significant change in the Defense Departmentâ(TM)s cybersecurity business model, he said. âoeItâ(TM)s a new type of collaboration between government and the private sector.â The fee-for service arrangement is not a âoesilver bullet,â but itâ(TM)s one way to deal with growing risks of cyber attacks, said Rosenbach.

Because ISPs are commercial firms, their cybersecurity programs fall under the bailiwick of the Department of Homeland Security. Since the launch of the defense industry effort, said Rosenbach, Defense and DHS have dramatically increased collaboration. âoeTrust has improved over the course of the program,â he said. âoeWeâ(TM)re working closely.â

DHSâ(TM) capacity has âoeimproved dramatically,â he said. âoeThey get an unfair bad rap in cybersecurity.â

To assuage privacy concerns, the Pentagon had the Justice Department and several government experts review the defense industrial base program. Rosenbach insisted that any information provided by industry is shared on a voluntary basis.

âoeIt seems unbelievable to some folks who havenâ(TM)t spent a lot of time in this space that firms donâ(TM)t have to necessarily report that theyâ(TM)ve been hacked.â

In the four years since the program has been running, âoeWe built trust,â said Hale. âoeCompanies have reported voluntarily. They got value back. ⦠Their defenses improved the more they reported.

Hale noted that the defense industry program is only one piece of the larger U.S. government cybersecurity apparatus.

âoeWe donâ(TM)t know how to defeat the cyber threat yetâ but this project is one step in that direction, he said."

© 2012 National Defense Industrial Association

That's nice, they have no wells to frack (2)

aklinux (1318095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035405)

Some years back a drilling company drilled some dry holes in the Lake Champlain Valley ...

Phracking (1)

skywatcher2501 (1608209) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035443)

Am I the only one that first thought Vermont would ban hacking the telephone system?

Re:Phracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035981)

Why? Did they also ban phreaking?

So this is how it ends (1)

BitHive (578094) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035535)

America will sputter its last gasp under the alarmist jackboots of enviro-fascists who want us all to live in caves!

Why isn't anyone taking me seriously? Guys?

So, this entire article is pointless? (1)

Flounder (42112) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035543)

Vermont bans something that doesn't, and won't, happen in their state? Next, Montana will be banning professional sports, Nebraska will ban surfing, and Utah will ban dancing and rock and roll.

Well damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40035615)

Damn I must be tired for a minute I thought the subject of this article was "Vermont Bans Fapping"

Oklahoma to ban all deep sea fishing, news at 11. (1)

StormyWeather (543593) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035657)

http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/geo/oilandgas.htm [state.vt.us]

Vermont doesn't fucking have anything worth cracking, unless it's water Wells. What douchebag politicians. My dad has been cracking wells since I was a baby and it has never polluted anything. OK I get hating energy production, but hating fracking is moronic.

Re:Oklahoma to ban all deep sea fishing, news at 1 (1)

StormyWeather (543593) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035837)

Sorry my cell phone thinks fracking is cracking :)

Good for Vermont (1)

approachingZero (1365381) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035787)

Now I'm sure they'll ban the importation of reasonably priced gas and oil that is available because of hydraulic fracturing.

Well... (1)

virgnarus (1949790) | more than 2 years ago | (#40035819)

Frack.

Too Bad (1)

Weatherlawyer (2596357) | more than 2 years ago | (#40036101)

It is an ideal way to dispose of ground up PCBs and generally hard to get rid of junk.

Now what with the computer recycle industry do?

Pass new laws?

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